JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Time is ticking for Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) to find someone who will temporarily fill the spot of Superintendent Nikolai Vitti. Vitti's last day is this Sunday, so the school board must make a decision by then.
As of Monday, the board narrowed the field down for an interim superintendent from seven candidates to three candidates. Members plan to meet again Wednesday to interview those top three candidates, then make a decision.
First Coast News is told the number one pick so far is Pearl Roziers. She is currently the Assistant Superintendent of School Choice for DCPS.
The other candidates are Dr. Patricia Willis, a former deputy superintendent in Duval County who is now a consultant, and Dr. Earl Lennard, a former superintendent in Hillsborough County.
During Monday's meeting, some board members expressed hesitation when it came to voting for candidates they don't know and basing their decision on resume alone. Some insisted they pick an interim superintendent within DCPS already.
"Education is a very complex business so I don't want to see someone who's coming to the system from the outside or who has not been here for five or more years," said Scott Shine, a DCPS board member.
There could be an issue with the school board's top pick. Roziers is set to retire soon, so the board is trying to work out how the interim position would affect her retirement. They expect answers on Tuesday.
The board also announced that it's not looking for someone to fill the interim position who wants to apply for the permanent superintendent position.